Wind and Solar Energy: Good for Nothing

The defenders of wind and solar claim that subsidies are a minor help to get a new industry going.  These defenders counter critics with the fallacious claim that fossil fuels receive huge subsidies.  Actually, the fossil fuel industry pays huge taxes. Focusing on explicit subsidies is the wrong approach for understanding the subsidies provided to wind and solar.  The explicit subsidies include such things as a 30% construction subsidy for solar and a 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour subsidy for wind.  Both technologies benefit from tax equity financing, a scheme based on special tax breaks and gaming the corporate income tax of a highly taxed corporate partner. A better way to measure the wind and solar subsidies is to look at the benefits and losses to the economy.  A net loss to the economy implies a subsidy.  Once it is recognized that a subsidy is present, the next step is to figure out who is paying for...(Read Full Article)

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